MILAN — Partywear may be back in full force, but fashion customers are predominantly trading high-heels for comfy flats, embellished attire for practical tank tops and fleeces, and pouring their money into Italian luxury brands.
Those were the main takeaways from the latest Lyst Index quarterly hottest brand ranking, largely dominated by marquee Italian names. In particular, Gucci maintained its top spot in the chart followed by Prada and Valentino, both up by one position compared to the previous quarter.
French brands Balenciaga and Dior ranked fourth and sixth, respectively, while Miu Miu scored the fifth position, Fendi the seventh and Diesel the eighth, followed by Louis Vuitton, which dropped by four positions. Bottega Veneta under the creative lead of Matthieu Blazy was the fastest-growing brand reclaiming the 11th spot, up six positions in the quarter ended Sept. 30 driven by high demand for his Kalimera bag.
Overall, half of the 20 top brands according to Lyst are Italian and seven of them made it to the top 10 hottest brands list.
A new category — dubbed Breakout Brands — highlights the fastest-growing brands outside the top 20 chart. For the quarter they included Coperni, Jaded London and Chopowa Lowena.
For the first time since debuting the index five years ago, the hottest product list was non-gendered comprising the 10 fashion items that customers searched, commented on, added to their wishlists and carts the most across menswear and womenswear.
“Over the last few quarters, we’ve seen more and more that products were appearing in both lists at the same time. It’s interesting in itself, shoppers are interested in the product…so it was getting less and less interesting to put out two lists of products where so many things were the same,” said Katy Lubin, vice president brand and communications.
Miu Miu’s ballet flats were the quarter’s hottest product, with a 1,100 percent spike in searches, followed by Birkenstock’s Boston clogs, the latter making their fifth appearance in the list. “This is a shoe that for many years we might not have thought could be a hot fashion product. The Lyst index really reflects the trends, culture and society as a whole,” Lubin said.
Ugg’s Tazz slippers, Adidas sneakers and Gucci’s horsebit loafers also made it to the index, no heeled shoes in sight, signaling customers’ preference for comfortable options. Predominantly dominated by accessories, including Valentino’s one stud bag, Diesel’s B-1DR belt and Balenciaga sunglasses, the two ready-to-wear items in the list included Prada’s ubiquitous logo tank top, sported on the fall runway in Milan by Hunter Schaffer and Patagonia’s polar fleece.
Most recently, Lyst updated its methodology factoring in data pulled from social media platforms to make sure the index is consistent and credible, including TikTok insights which didn’t really factor until five years ago.
“These are really the brands that are delivering on both, lots of likes, lots of noise, lots of social buzz but also customers in a frenzy to buy these products and so it’s been a very powerful quarter especially given the state of the world; economically it seems that these luxury brands are really proving super resilient to the forces out there that are affecting customers’ mindset and how they want to spend their money,” Lubin noted.
Relying on 200 million active users, one third based in the U.S., Lyst is aiming to grow its scope and introduced new features and services accordingly.
“We are on the cusp of being app-first…which is quite unique in many premium, luxury fashion-focused products….We started with the hypothesis that we should be app first maybe two years ago and then about 18 months ago we saw the product, the experience was just so much better and very sticky, so people kept coming back,” Chris Morton, Lyst founder and executive chairman, told WWD.
Lyst’s app was the most downloaded luxury fashion app in the U.S. and the U.K. last year. It triggered the British shopping platform to step on the gas with its newly built-in checkout tool, currently available in the U.S. only but soon to be rolled out across geographies.
“It’s important that the customer experience since they press buy, [that] everything happens seamlessly, it’s also very important for us that the brands and retailers are not cut out from the experience, that’s quite unique of our proposition…much like if I go into a shopping mall, I know that I’m not buying from the mall but the mall is a great shopping experience if it’s done well,” Morton offered.
Sensing excitement among brands, Lyst also launched an in-house content studio, geared at forging strategic partnerships with brands and creating data-enhanced content. For example, Lyst partnered with Valentino for the launch of fall’s Pink PP collection with a data-driven interactive experience allowing customers to learn more about the history of the color pink across fashion and culture over the past 100 years.
“We have this unique voice in the space and our content really cuts through all the noise out there because it’s grounded in Lyst data insights. Brands really came to work with us as this really credible authority brand and to see how we can apply our Lyst lens to the stories that the brand are trying to tell,” Lubin explained.
Up next are IRL activations aiming to bring the growing Lyst community together. The first stop will be Milan next year to celebrate the index’s fifth anniversary.
“We share what we learn, it’s super important for us to share that knowledge and to open up new ways of thinking about it, but we’re also super excited to hear from the amazing leaders in the space at these leading brands, about how they made these decisions that have built their brands in the last five years and have made their brands the hottest brands in the world,” Lubin said.